Sleep is a fundamental requirement. If we don’t get enough – or any – sleep, it will quite literally kill us. Sleep deficits affect our cognitive functioning, physical performance, and pretty much everything else. Is it any wonder that poor sleep negatively impacts relationships?
First, the basics.
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of good quality sleep a night. Yet many of us don’t get even six hours of decent sleep. If you have young children, you can probably relate. Early parenthood is when a relationship comes under extreme pressure. It’s hard to make time for one another when you are driven to the edge of insanity by a severe lack of sleep. It’s no different when you both work shifts.
There is no doubt that chronic sleep issues can have a profound effect on relationships, so it makes sense that good, healthy sleep can have a positive effect. By healthy sleep, we mean the kind of sleep whereby you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything life throws at you. You may not need a full nine hours; whatever is right for you is more important.
Here are five ways good sleep can improve your relationship.
Healthy Sleep = Better Mood
Poor sleep generally leaves us in a bad mood. We wake up feeling tired and irritable, which causes all kinds of problems. You are far more likely to get into an argument with your partner if you are sleep deprived. And it is harder to resolve issues when you don’t have the mental energy to talk things through.
Relationships tend to be better when both partners are in a good mood. There is less conflict, and you are more likely to treat each other with respect. Doesn’t that sound like a much happier relationship?
We are More Attractive When We Sleep Better
Take a look in the mirror when you are tired and sleep deprived. Your skin looks sallow and pale, your face is all puffy, and you have suitcases under your eyes. Well rested people always look more attractive. Their skin looks healthy, and their eyes are bright. They are happier. And, as we all know, happy people are more attractive in every way.
Looks matter in any relationship. Relationships suffer when one partner stops finding the other attractive, so make sure you get enough good quality sleep, or your partner’s eye might start wandering.
You Make Better Decisions when You Are Well Rested
Our decision making is much poorer when we don’t get enough sleep. We are far more likely to make rash, illogical decisions, such as accusing a partner of being thoughtless or selfish, even though they did nothing wrong. Couples need to work together, or the relationship will suffer. Impulse purchases and poor decisions regarding finances are not the best way to keep your relationship happy and healthy. You might even decide to end a relationship when in reality, that person didn’t do anything wrong.
Don’t make important decisions after a period of poor-quality sleep. It could spell a relationship meltdown.
A Good Night’s Sleep Leads to Greater Intimacy
How do you feel after a poor night’s sleep caused by a partner’s incessant snoring? If you are honest, probably not very happy, and chances are, you won’t feel much like having a cuddle with that person. You are more likely to want to kill them slowly and painfully.
A good night’s sleep is relaxing and more conducive to intimacy. When we wake up feeling refreshed, everything looks better. Our mood is happy and positive, so it’s only natural that this mood leads to positive emotions such as love, affection, and lust.
Couples who sleep well together generally have a better relationship.
Good Sleep Leads to More Laughter
Couples who laugh together, stay together. It is hard to find much of anything funny when you have barely slept for days. Conversely, good sleep boosts cognitive function, which helps our sense of humor.
There are many ways to help improve your sleep. A sleep mask can block out the light. A relaxing bath before bed might help, too. It might also be worth investing in a new mattress.
If you are having trouble sleeping and it’s affecting your relationship, get help. Otherwise, your relationship might not survive.